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I’m a bit behind schedule with this challenge.  I’m sure I will fall behind several times.  From now there will be less information but I will search for more as I go.

John Edward Rose was born in London on 26 March 1864, at 172 Drury Lane.  Whatever building used to be there is long gone.  Now there’s an ugly office block.  John was the third child (and second son) in a family of 14 children (four sons and 10 daughters)!  John’s parents were William Rose and Mary Ann, née Mudd.  William was a publican at the time of John’s birth and I believe John was born in a pub at that address.  Unfortunately I can’t find any mention of a long-lost pub in Drury Lane.


Detail of Drury Lane in 1867 map. 172 was between Long Acre and Broad Street


Another view from an 1860 map.  I think 172 was opposite Brownlow Street.

One more map, as I spent some time looking!


Detail of insurance map from late 1800s overlaid on top of modern map, so 172 was opposite what is now Betterton Street. No idea what P.H. means – the map and website had no legend

In 1871, John’s father was listed as a miller, employing one man.  They also had a female servant.  They lived at 65 Debenham Road, Henley, Suffolk, which I assume is Crowfield, Ipswich today.  If so, new houses have been built along the road.

In 1881, John was a grocer’s apprentice, living in the village of Sproughton, Suffolk.


Several of John’s siblings were born in Sproughton.  In 1883 his eldest sister, Fanny, married Frederick Neale in Saxmundham, Suffolk, and another sister was born!  (After their mother died, two of the youngest sisters lived with their eldest brother.)  Four years later, it was John’s turn.  He married Mary Kate Reeve on 20 June 1887 at St Matthew’s, Ipswich.  He was still a grocer’s assistant.

This appears to be the church, now hemmed in by development.


By 1891 the couple had moved to Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, living in Waterloo House in High Street, had one son, Harold, and Mary was pregnant with her second.  John was now listed as a grocer (manager).  In 1901 they were living at 43 High Street with the boys.  In 1911 they were still living in High Street with all but one child, HC.  John’s second son, Edward, emigrated to Australia that year (perhaps he was one of the “dreadnought boys“).

War broke out in 1914 and four of John’s six sons enlisted (Edward serving with the Australian Imperial Force).  Thankfully all survived.

In 1921, John and family were living at Valley Lodge, Holland Road, Clacton on Sea.  John seems to have given up being a grocer and become a commercial clerk.  In 1922, John’s fourth son left with new wife to join his brother in Australia.  They must have liked what they experienced, as John, his wife, and the two teenage girls, also departed in November of that year aboard the Euripides.


The ship arrived in Sydney in December and apparently there were “dreadnought boys” aboard as well.

Initially, I think, they must have stayed with one or both sons in Pendle Hill.  Here is the only photo I have of John Edward, taken from a group photo on his son’s poultry farm.


I think he looks a kindly man.  I wish I could have asked my mother or great aunt about him but, alas, I knew nothing about him to even think of asking.

In 1935, John, Mary, and the girls were living at 28 Cecil Street in Ashfield, Sydney.  It’s a block of flats now (of course).  John was listed in that year’s electoral roll as a gardener.  The girls were clerks.

Some time in the late 1930s or early 40s, John and Mary must have moved to 33 Kenilworth Street, a semi-detached house in Croydon (which I’m glad to say still exists).

Unfortunately, that is pretty much all the information I have.  John Edward Rose died on 30 November 1949 at home.  He was 85, a good age.


Sources:; census returns;; Bury & Norwich Post, 10 Apr 1883; findmypast; family archives;;